Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

8 Christmas Movies That Are Way More Problematic Than Love, Actually

  1. Begin
    loveactually1

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    Christmas movies, particularly the ones you grew up with, are often covered in such a thick coat of nostalgia that it's nearly impossible to tell if they're quality entertainment. And on some level, that doesn't matter. If you have fond memories of baking cookies and wrapping presents with A Charlie Brown Christmas in the background, it's always going to be a film you revisit in December.

    But while you settle into your cinematic holiday traditions, you should take note of some elements that haven't aged well. Old school Christmas flicks aren't immune to the racism, sexism, and other problematic themes that pop up in dated movies. And of course, far too often, they come up in modern films too. After all, Love Actually, though full of meet cutes and even cuter declarations of love, has some serious issues with how creepy behavior toward women is portrayed. "All I Want For Christmas Is You," sung by a precocious child can fix most things, but not everything.

    Some issues in these films are so glaring that perhaps you've already had a heated discussion about them. However, armed with a little knowledge, here’s how you can make the best decisions about your holiday viewing plans.


    Begin Slideshow
  2. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/_loMMpJEABI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    0 of 8

    White Christmas (1954) — Watch as they get super nostalgic about the good 'ole days—of minstrel shows.

    Dressed in distractingly sparkly outfits, the film's stars sing an Irving Berlin song about their love of minstrel shows, which featured white men in blackface promoting ugly racial stereotypes. They even name check a famous blackface performer "Georgie Primrose.”

  3. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/h_yQhALyAx0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    1 of 8

    National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (1989) — The family man and sexual harassment.

    This scene is played as charmingly comical — look at the man so tongue-tied by breasts that he blurts out inappropriate words around the retail worker! But this woman is just trying to work, and this guy is throwing around innuendos left and right. The scene might work if Clark was portrayed as a creep, but the movie takes pains to paint him as the ultimate family man.

  4. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/miBKPwVtxFU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    2 of 8

    A Christmas Story (1983) — It's never funny to laugh at someone's attempt at English.

    I'm guessing Ralphie and company would butcher a traditional Chinese song. That is, if they were even brave enough to attempt to learn a new language.

  5. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/3z4P5ZIEkTw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    3 of 8

    Four Christmases (2008) — Fun times fat shamming a loved one.

    It's surprising there are problems in this one beyond its complete and utter lack of watchability, but they sneak in the classic gag—making jabs at your girlfriend's past issues with her weight. Always a holiday crowd pleaser.

  6. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/vIBBVzy5UoQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    4 of 8

    Just Friends (2005) — At least the horrible trope is gender balanced?

    Throwing a guy into the awful "redemption through makeover" cliché is not a step in the right direction. And if an old friend ever greets you by saying, "I can fit my arms around you now," you shouldn't even be Facebook pals.